Chatter is two years old now, and as more and more companies embrace it I am starting to get some common questions. Here are some of the most common technical questions — and some answers that may help you out:
- When do I use Chatter Feed Tracking and when do I use Field History Tracking? Use Chatter to post updates about fields you need to take action on; keep the number to a
- few critical fields to ensure only important, actionable data is flowing into your users news feeds. Field history tracking is important for change management. If you have fields that don’t drive actions, but whose value is important to track and potentially report on over time, then you’ll want to use field history tracking instead of Chatter feed tracking.
- When an Opportunity closes, do I automatically un-follow that Opportunity? Not out-of-the-box, but yes! There is an app for that on the AppExchange called Chatter Unfollow Rules that will automatically unsubscribe you from following an Opportunity once it closes. You can even choose to delay a few days after it closes (in case people Chatter about the Opportunity in the days right after it closes). This can be done for Cases as well. In fact, since you can only follow 500 users/records at a time currently, it’s a must have for any organization processing a large number of cases in a day. You don’t want your support agents to bump up against following limits after a few weeks and then have to take the time to find all cases they’re following that are closed just so they can manually un-follow them. Note to developers: If you need to extend this functionality, install the unmanaged version.
- Is there a way to auto-subscribe new users to certain individuals, such as their manager? There are apps for that, such as Cloud Swarm 3 – Chatter Auto Follow and Chatter SmartFollow. However, before you go that route, consider that Chatter will recommend who you may want to follow based upon the following criteria:
- The same people as you.
- People who are in your management hierarchy, such as your manager, people who report to your manager, and people who report to you. Salesforce uses the Manager field on the personal information page to determine these recommendations. If this field is blank, Chatter won’t recommend people based on your management hierarchy.
- People who are popular, which means they have many followers.
- People who are new to Chatter.
- People who are interested in the same records as you — for example, someone who has looked at or edited an account that you’ve recently viewed.
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(Source: Salesforce Help Article: People Recommendations Overview)
Chances are your employees will follow these people if they’re encouraged to do so in your Chattetiquette guide. Remember, you don’t need to systematically enforce this. It’s pretty amazing how fast people adopt Chatter and start building out their Chatter networks.